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As infant teachers, we hear it all the time! ‘They grow so fast…I can’t believe they are going to school’ ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   It always seems a puzzle to me, therefore, why there is such a sense of urgency for children to move into a formalised school setting at the age of 4 and a half or even 5.   This is becoming a particularly interesting debate as increasingly research is showing us that young children; are experiencing challenges to their mental health, they are increasingly experiencing issues around anxiety and lack of resilience and frequently display other challenging behaviours which are often a result of the frustrations they are feeling.   

The question we ask ourselves, as infant teachers is: Why is this so?  

Could it be that something as simple as extending a child’s learning within a play-based setting for longer and allowing children the time to develop both emotionally, socially and academically might be a solution to these, most challenging dilemmas?

Even after a decade of working in infant education, it always amazes me how much children learn from each other; their peers, siblings and friends.  I think as adults we also sometimes forget just how much ‘academic learning’ happens through play, within a play-based setting.  

Here at Cargilfield, we are given daily reminders of the important role that play gives the children as they grow and develop and how pivotal it is to their learning and establishing their habits as lifelong learners.

We see examples of this every day in all sorts of wonderful ways, a few of which I have highlighted here:

All manner of fantastic art work and den building takes place where the children are able to use their imagination and problem-solving skills to create something wonderful.  These types of play scenarios are crucial in developing the children’s imagination, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

rightColBody

Creativity through play has also been shown to extend and enrich children’s learning in many different ways; creating their own self-portraits, making woodland art pictures and scavenging for items to make their own woodland crowns are just a few examples of how children are able to consolidate and process their learning through creative endeavours.  These sorts of activities are so important to help brain development in infant children as they promote cognitive, social and emotional development aswell as helping to develop a range of multi-sensory skills.  It is these types of experience which help to build self-esteem, resilience and cognitive understanding which become crucial to the children as they increasingly are faced with; challenge, self-doubt and change as they progress through school.

The experiential learning of a play-based setting, for example using water, sand etc, enables children to test their hypotheses, stretch their imagination and explore their senses through these different mediums.  These ‘learning opportunities’ encourage the children to lead their own learning to help them develop their physical, cognitive and social skills in a variety of ways which are becoming increasingly critical for children further down the path of their own educational journey.

Engaging with the real world whether it be planting pumpkin seeds and thinking of ways in which we can help the seeds grow or what we can make/do with the pumpkins once they have grown, are all opportunities which build an inquisitive mind.  Learning through ‘doing’ enables the children to discover, learn and explore their natural surroundings.  It empowers children to lead their own learning in this instance; deciding what we plant, how we might help the seeds to grow and what we want to do with the vegetables which will emerge.  Ultimately, this will develop key thinking skills, resilience and self-belief in children who engage in this type of learning.

Role play and creative drama also plays an important role in the children’s learning at this early stage.  It is through this type of play that the children are extending their understanding of community, culture and the wider world as they take on different characters in play and learn to empathise and understand the feelings of others as they ‘step’ in to their shoes.  All crucial aspects of emotional intelligence which the children will increasingly come to rely on as the progress through school and in to the wider world.

So, when we take a step back and consider ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   Let’s not forget that their physical, cognitive and social skills can often be nurtured far more successfully in a play based setting when children are 4 and 5.  Those extra months spent immersed in play can often make a monumental difference to a child’s progress towards becoming a successful learner and an effective contributor in later life.  The benefits of which might not fully be recognised until adulthood. Therefore, when we reflect on the fact that ‘they grow so fast’ surely it is important to remember that it is often an investment in play based learning at an early age which ultimately pays the largest dividend.

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As infant teachers, we hear it all the time! ‘They grow so fast…I can’t believe they are going to school’ ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   It always seems a puzzle to me, therefore, why there is such a sense of urgency for children to move into a formalised school setting at the age of 4 and a half or even 5.   This is becoming a particularly interesting debate as increasingly research is showing us that young children; are experiencing challenges to their mental health, they are increasingly experiencing issues around anxiety and lack of resilience and frequently display other challenging behaviours which are often a result of the frustrations they are feeling.   

The question we ask ourselves, as infant teachers is: Why is this so?  

Could it be that something as simple as extending a child’s learning within a play-based setting for longer and allowing children the time to develop both emotionally, socially and academically might be a solution to these, most challenging dilemmas?

Even after a decade of working in infant education, it always amazes me how much children learn from each other; their peers, siblings and friends.  I think as adults we also sometimes forget just how much ‘academic learning’ happens through play, within a play-based setting.  

Here at Cargilfield, we are given daily reminders of the important role that play gives the children as they grow and develop and how pivotal it is to their learning and establishing their habits as lifelong learners.

We see examples of this every day in all sorts of wonderful ways, a few of which I have highlighted here:

All manner of fantastic art work and den building takes place where the children are able to use their imagination and problem-solving skills to create something wonderful.  These types of play scenarios are crucial in developing the children’s imagination, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

perch_rightColBody

Creativity through play has also been shown to extend and enrich children’s learning in many different ways; creating their own self-portraits, making woodland art pictures and scavenging for items to make their own woodland crowns are just a few examples of how children are able to consolidate and process their learning through creative endeavours.  These sorts of activities are so important to help brain development in infant children as they promote cognitive, social and emotional development aswell as helping to develop a range of multi-sensory skills.  It is these types of experience which help to build self-esteem, resilience and cognitive understanding which become crucial to the children as they increasingly are faced with; challenge, self-doubt and change as they progress through school.

The experiential learning of a play-based setting, for example using water, sand etc, enables children to test their hypotheses, stretch their imagination and explore their senses through these different mediums.  These ‘learning opportunities’ encourage the children to lead their own learning to help them develop their physical, cognitive and social skills in a variety of ways which are becoming increasingly critical for children further down the path of their own educational journey.

Engaging with the real world whether it be planting pumpkin seeds and thinking of ways in which we can help the seeds grow or what we can make/do with the pumpkins once they have grown, are all opportunities which build an inquisitive mind.  Learning through ‘doing’ enables the children to discover, learn and explore their natural surroundings.  It empowers children to lead their own learning in this instance; deciding what we plant, how we might help the seeds to grow and what we want to do with the vegetables which will emerge.  Ultimately, this will develop key thinking skills, resilience and self-belief in children who engage in this type of learning.

Role play and creative drama also plays an important role in the children’s learning at this early stage.  It is through this type of play that the children are extending their understanding of community, culture and the wider world as they take on different characters in play and learn to empathise and understand the feelings of others as they ‘step’ in to their shoes.  All crucial aspects of emotional intelligence which the children will increasingly come to rely on as the progress through school and in to the wider world.

So, when we take a step back and consider ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   Let’s not forget that their physical, cognitive and social skills can often be nurtured far more successfully in a play based setting when children are 4 and 5.  Those extra months spent immersed in play can often make a monumental difference to a child’s progress towards becoming a successful learner and an effective contributor in later life.  The benefits of which might not fully be recognised until adulthood. Therefore, when we reflect on the fact that ‘they grow so fast’ surely it is important to remember that it is often an investment in play based learning at an early age which ultimately pays the largest dividend.

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Cargilfield

When to start school?

An important decision with many options

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introTextAn important decision, with many options
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imageAltCargilfield
leftColBody

As infant teachers, we hear it all the time! ‘They grow so fast…I can’t believe they are going to school’ ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   It always seems a puzzle to me, therefore, why there is such a sense of urgency for children to move into a formalised school setting at the age of 4 and a half or even 5.   This is becoming a particularly interesting debate as increasingly research is showing us that young children; are experiencing challenges to their mental health, they are increasingly experiencing issues around anxiety and lack of resilience and frequently display other challenging behaviours which are often a result of the frustrations they are feeling.   

The question we ask ourselves, as infant teachers is: Why is this so?  

Could it be that something as simple as extending a child’s learning within a play-based setting for longer and allowing children the time to develop both emotionally, socially and academically might be a solution to these, most challenging dilemmas?

Even after a decade of working in infant education, it always amazes me how much children learn from each other; their peers, siblings and friends.  I think as adults we also sometimes forget just how much ‘academic learning’ happens through play, within a play-based setting.  

Here at Cargilfield, we are given daily reminders of the important role that play gives the children as they grow and develop and how pivotal it is to their learning and establishing their habits as lifelong learners.

We see examples of this every day in all sorts of wonderful ways, a few of which I have highlighted here:

All manner of fantastic art work and den building takes place where the children are able to use their imagination and problem-solving skills to create something wonderful.  These types of play scenarios are crucial in developing the children’s imagination, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

rightColBody

Creativity through play has also been shown to extend and enrich children’s learning in many different ways; creating their own self-portraits, making woodland art pictures and scavenging for items to make their own woodland crowns are just a few examples of how children are able to consolidate and process their learning through creative endeavours.  These sorts of activities are so important to help brain development in infant children as they promote cognitive, social and emotional development aswell as helping to develop a range of multi-sensory skills.  It is these types of experience which help to build self-esteem, resilience and cognitive understanding which become crucial to the children as they increasingly are faced with; challenge, self-doubt and change as they progress through school.

The experiential learning of a play-based setting, for example using water, sand etc, enables children to test their hypotheses, stretch their imagination and explore their senses through these different mediums.  These ‘learning opportunities’ encourage the children to lead their own learning to help them develop their physical, cognitive and social skills in a variety of ways which are becoming increasingly critical for children further down the path of their own educational journey.

Engaging with the real world whether it be planting pumpkin seeds and thinking of ways in which we can help the seeds grow or what we can make/do with the pumpkins once they have grown, are all opportunities which build an inquisitive mind.  Learning through ‘doing’ enables the children to discover, learn and explore their natural surroundings.  It empowers children to lead their own learning in this instance; deciding what we plant, how we might help the seeds to grow and what we want to do with the vegetables which will emerge.  Ultimately, this will develop key thinking skills, resilience and self-belief in children who engage in this type of learning.

Role play and creative drama also plays an important role in the children’s learning at this early stage.  It is through this type of play that the children are extending their understanding of community, culture and the wider world as they take on different characters in play and learn to empathise and understand the feelings of others as they ‘step’ in to their shoes.  All crucial aspects of emotional intelligence which the children will increasingly come to rely on as the progress through school and in to the wider world.

So, when we take a step back and consider ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   Let’s not forget that their physical, cognitive and social skills can often be nurtured far more successfully in a play based setting when children are 4 and 5.  Those extra months spent immersed in play can often make a monumental difference to a child’s progress towards becoming a successful learner and an effective contributor in later life.  The benefits of which might not fully be recognised until adulthood. Therefore, when we reflect on the fact that ‘they grow so fast’ surely it is important to remember that it is often an investment in play based learning at an early age which ultimately pays the largest dividend.

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As infant teachers, we hear it all the time! ‘They grow so fast…I can’t believe they are going to school’ ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   It always seems a puzzle to me, therefore, why there is such a sense of urgency for children to move into a formalised school setting at the age of 4 and a half or even 5.   This is becoming a particularly interesting debate as increasingly research is showing us that young children; are experiencing challenges to their mental health, they are increasingly experiencing issues around anxiety and lack of resilience and frequently display other challenging behaviours which are often a result of the frustrations they are feeling.   

The question we ask ourselves, as infant teachers is: Why is this so?  

Could it be that something as simple as extending a child’s learning within a play-based setting for longer and allowing children the time to develop both emotionally, socially and academically might be a solution to these, most challenging dilemmas?

Even after a decade of working in infant education, it always amazes me how much children learn from each other; their peers, siblings and friends.  I think as adults we also sometimes forget just how much ‘academic learning’ happens through play, within a play-based setting.  

Here at Cargilfield, we are given daily reminders of the important role that play gives the children as they grow and develop and how pivotal it is to their learning and establishing their habits as lifelong learners.

We see examples of this every day in all sorts of wonderful ways, a few of which I have highlighted here:

All manner of fantastic art work and den building takes place where the children are able to use their imagination and problem-solving skills to create something wonderful.  These types of play scenarios are crucial in developing the children’s imagination, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

perch_rightColBody

Creativity through play has also been shown to extend and enrich children’s learning in many different ways; creating their own self-portraits, making woodland art pictures and scavenging for items to make their own woodland crowns are just a few examples of how children are able to consolidate and process their learning through creative endeavours.  These sorts of activities are so important to help brain development in infant children as they promote cognitive, social and emotional development aswell as helping to develop a range of multi-sensory skills.  It is these types of experience which help to build self-esteem, resilience and cognitive understanding which become crucial to the children as they increasingly are faced with; challenge, self-doubt and change as they progress through school.

The experiential learning of a play-based setting, for example using water, sand etc, enables children to test their hypotheses, stretch their imagination and explore their senses through these different mediums.  These ‘learning opportunities’ encourage the children to lead their own learning to help them develop their physical, cognitive and social skills in a variety of ways which are becoming increasingly critical for children further down the path of their own educational journey.

Engaging with the real world whether it be planting pumpkin seeds and thinking of ways in which we can help the seeds grow or what we can make/do with the pumpkins once they have grown, are all opportunities which build an inquisitive mind.  Learning through ‘doing’ enables the children to discover, learn and explore their natural surroundings.  It empowers children to lead their own learning in this instance; deciding what we plant, how we might help the seeds to grow and what we want to do with the vegetables which will emerge.  Ultimately, this will develop key thinking skills, resilience and self-belief in children who engage in this type of learning.

Role play and creative drama also plays an important role in the children’s learning at this early stage.  It is through this type of play that the children are extending their understanding of community, culture and the wider world as they take on different characters in play and learn to empathise and understand the feelings of others as they ‘step’ in to their shoes.  All crucial aspects of emotional intelligence which the children will increasingly come to rely on as the progress through school and in to the wider world.

So, when we take a step back and consider ‘I’m just not sure they’re ready…they’re so young’.   Let’s not forget that their physical, cognitive and social skills can often be nurtured far more successfully in a play based setting when children are 4 and 5.  Those extra months spent immersed in play can often make a monumental difference to a child’s progress towards becoming a successful learner and an effective contributor in later life.  The benefits of which might not fully be recognised until adulthood. Therefore, when we reflect on the fact that ‘they grow so fast’ surely it is important to remember that it is often an investment in play based learning at an early age which ultimately pays the largest dividend.

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Cargilfield

When to start school?

An important decision, with many options

Read More


Posted on

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A full van for Fresh Start this morning. A fabulous charity to support helping the homeless in Edinburgh. Many thanks to all those parents who donated so generously to a charity close to our hearts as it was set up over 20 years ago by Dr Barr, our school chaplain. 

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A full van for Fresh Start this morning. A fabulous charity to support helping the homeless in Edinburgh. Many thanks to all those parents who donated so generously to a charity close to our hearts as it was set up over 20 years ago by Dr Barr, our school chaplain. 

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Cargilfield

Fresh Start Donations

Helping the homeless in Edinburgh

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introTextA lovely whole school remote event!
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Although we are unable to meet together in Chapel to celebrate Harvest Festival this year, instead we have a remote service with contributions from children throughout the school. There is also a sermon from Dr Barr, his final one for us before he retires and moves up to St Andrews at the end of October when he stands down as Minister of Cramond Kirk. We wish him a very happy retirement, and thank him for all that he has done for our school community over the past 27 years. Many thanks to our parents who have donated so generously items for Fresh Start, a charity started by Dr Barr over 20 years ago, to help the homeless in Edinburgh.

Watch the Service here.

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Although we are unable to meet together in Chapel to celebrate Harvest Festival this year, instead we have a remote service with contributions from children throughout the school. There is also a sermon from Dr Barr, his final one for us before he retires and moves up to St Andrews at the end of October when he stands down as Minister of Cramond Kirk. We wish him a very happy retirement, and thank him for all that he has done for our school community over the past 27 years. Many thanks to our parents who have donated so generously items for Fresh Start, a charity started by Dr Barr over 20 years ago, to help the homeless in Edinburgh.

Watch the Service here.

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Cargilfield

Harvest Festival

A lovely whole school remote event!

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As we reach the end of this first half term of the academic year, I have been reflecting on how well we have all managed to acclimatise to the new ‘normal’. It has been absolutely great to be back at school and to be teaching the children face to face once again. As ever, they have been amazing; they have adapted so well, shown immense resilience and have thrown themselves into their learning, always giving their best. 

As a teacher of Humanities, I have previously written on this blog about the value and benefits of educational visits, learning in the field and the ‘outdoor classroom’.  It is a great shame that we haven’t been able to do as many trips as we would have liked, however, we have still managed to appreciate our local natural environment. We have been able to get time outside each day for games and have even completed some outdoor learning, such as the recent F4 litter pick. 

As we all look forward to a really well deserved half term break, I wanted to encourage you to try to keep the learning experiences going at home. When I was training to be a teacher (and subsequently), I have been encouraged to emphasise and appreciate the ‘awe and wonder’ of teaching a subject like geography. We don’t need to be sitting in a classroom to experience this, in fact, it is much harder to appreciate the scope and wonder of our environment indoors.  As we are unlikely to be able to do much travelling or socialising over the half term break, might I suggest 4 simple things we could do over the holiday which should be both enjoyable and hopefully a little educational as well!

1.  Get outdoors. I always feel really lucky to live in this great city. There are so many interesting buildings with a rich and diverse history. I have been trying to explore further afield myself by visiting new places at the weekends. 

    https://www.ionedinburgh.com/travel/hotel-guide/10-best-walks-and-around-edinburgh

    2.  Use maps. There is a great ‘beginners guide to maps’ on the OS website and you can also download the App which I have found great fun to use with the family when out on walks. As a school we also subscribe to digimaps for schools devised by the University of Edinburgh. If you have a look at this you may find some really interesting information both historic and geographic about your local area. We are licensed to share the log in details with all members of the school community so please do take a look with the children if you get chance.

      The website is https://digimapforschoo...   Username: eh46hu Password: wimbed2619

      3.  Watch TV! Whilst this does tend to be a last resort in our house, there are some really enlightening documentaries which are both highly engaging and educational and may help ‘while away’ a bit of time (especially if it is raining outdoors). A recent watch I can highly recommend is My Octopus Teacher. A moving and intimate portrayal of the life of an octopus in a kelp forest in South Africa. I hadn’t realised quite what enigmatic, complex and intelligent creatures they are. We were totally transfixed by it at home. 

      4.  Read a book. Again, for the days when we can’t get outside, I can recommend a book called Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. There is a child friendly hardback version of this book available on Amazon. The art work is beautiful and the text is accessible for children, giving them an insight into the political and social characteristics of the main nations around the world. 

        Above all, have a great half term break and all the better if you get the opportunity for a bit of ‘Awe and Wonder’!

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        As we reach the end of this first half term of the academic year, I have been reflecting on how well we have all managed to acclimatise to the new ‘normal’. It has been absolutely great to be back at school and to be teaching the children face to face once again. As ever, they have been amazing; they have adapted so well, shown immense resilience and have thrown themselves into their learning, always giving their best. 

        As a teacher of Humanities, I have previously written on this blog about the value and benefits of educational visits, learning in the field and the ‘outdoor classroom’.  It is a great shame that we haven’t been able to do as many trips as we would have liked, however, we have still managed to appreciate our local natural environment. We have been able to get time outside each day for games and have even completed some outdoor learning, such as the recent F4 litter pick. 

        As we all look forward to a really well deserved half term break, I wanted to encourage you to try to keep the learning experiences going at home. When I was training to be a teacher (and subsequently), I have been encouraged to emphasise and appreciate the ‘awe and wonder’ of teaching a subject like geography. We don’t need to be sitting in a classroom to experience this, in fact, it is much harder to appreciate the scope and wonder of our environment indoors.  As we are unlikely to be able to do much travelling or socialising over the half term break, might I suggest 4 simple things we could do over the holiday which should be both enjoyable and hopefully a little educational as well!

        1.  Get outdoors. I always feel really lucky to live in this great city. There are so many interesting buildings with a rich and diverse history. I have been trying to explore further afield myself by visiting new places at the weekends. 

          https://www.ionedinburgh.com/travel/hotel-guide/10-best-walks-and-around-edinburgh

          2.  Use maps. There is a great ‘beginners guide to maps’ on the OS website and you can also download the App which I have found great fun to use with the family when out on walks. As a school we also subscribe to digimaps for schools devised by the University of Edinburgh. If you have a look at this you may find some really interesting information both historic and geographic about your local area. We are licensed to share the log in details with all members of the school community so please do take a look with the children if you get chance.

            The website is https://digimapforschoo...   Username: eh46hu Password: wimbed2619

            3.  Watch TV! Whilst this does tend to be a last resort in our house, there are some really enlightening documentaries which are both highly engaging and educational and may help ‘while away’ a bit of time (especially if it is raining outdoors). A recent watch I can highly recommend is My Octopus Teacher. A moving and intimate portrayal of the life of an octopus in a kelp forest in South Africa. I hadn’t realised quite what enigmatic, complex and intelligent creatures they are. We were totally transfixed by it at home. 

            4.  Read a book. Again, for the days when we can’t get outside, I can recommend a book called Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. There is a child friendly hardback version of this book available on Amazon. The art work is beautiful and the text is accessible for children, giving them an insight into the political and social characteristics of the main nations around the world. 

              Above all, have a great half term break and all the better if you get the opportunity for a bit of ‘Awe and Wonder’!

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              Cargilfield

              Take time for some 'Awe and Wonder'

              Explore and be curious!

              Read More


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              introTextAn emotional farewell!
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              Well, what an emotional morning it was today as we said a heartfelt goodbye to Dr Barr after 27 years at the heart of our school community. The whole school came out to greet him, we all sang 'Happy Birthday' to him, and then the Heads of School handed over some gifts as we wished Russell and Margaret every happiness in their retirement up in St Andrews. The golf course beckons! Thank you for everything.

              Watch our surprise farewell video here.

              See more photos here.

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              perch_introTextAn emotional farewell!
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              Well, what an emotional morning it was today as we said a heartfelt goodbye to Dr Barr after 27 years at the heart of our school community. The whole school came out to greet him, we all sang 'Happy Birthday' to him, and then the Heads of School handed over some gifts as we wished Russell and Margaret every happiness in their retirement up in St Andrews. The golf course beckons! Thank you for everything.

              Watch our surprise farewell video here.

              See more photos here.

              perch_rightColBody

              IMG 9930

              C44682ED 1E6D 41CC A840 A42D1C5CDD07

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              Cargilfield

              Goodbye and thank you, Dr Barr

              An emotional farewell!

              Read More


              Posted on

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              As we reach the end of this first half term of the academic year, I have been reflecting on how well we have all managed to acclimatise to the new ‘normal’. It has been absolutely great to be back at school and to be teaching the children face to face once again. As ever, they have been amazing; they have adapted so well, shown immense resilience and have thrown themselves into their learning, always giving their best. 

              As a teacher of Humanities, I have previously written on this blog about the value and benefits of educational visits, learning in the field and the ‘outdoor classroom’.  It is a great shame that we haven’t been able to do as many trips as we would have liked, however, we have still managed to appreciate our local natural environment. We have been able to get time outside each day for games and have even completed some outdoor learning, such as the recent F4 litter pick. 

              As we all look forward to a really well deserved half term break, I wanted to encourage you to try to keep the learning experiences going at home. When I was training to be a teacher (and subsequently), I have been encouraged to emphasise and appreciate the ‘awe and wonder’ of teaching a subject like geography. We don’t need to be sitting in a classroom to experience this, in fact, it is much harder to appreciate the scope and wonder of our environment indoors.  As we are unlikely to be able to do much travelling or socialising over the half term break, might I suggest 4 simple things we could do over the holiday which should be both enjoyable and hopefully a little educational as well!

              1.  Get outdoors. I always feel really lucky to live in this great city. There are so many interesting buildings with a rich and diverse history. I have been trying to explore further afield myself by visiting new places at the weekends. 

                https://www.ionedinburgh.com/travel/hotel-guide/10-best-walks-and-around-edinburgh

                2.  Use maps. There is a great ‘beginners guide to maps’ on the OS website and you can also download the App which I have found great fun to use with the family when out on walks. As a school we also subscribe to digimaps for schools devised by the University of Edinburgh. If you have a look at this you may find some really interesting information both historic and geographic about your local area. We are licensed to share the log in details with all members of the school community so please do take a look with the children if you get chance.

                  The website is https://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/   Username: eh46hu    Password: wimbed2619

                  3.     Watch TV! Whilst this does tend to be a last resort in our house, there are some really enlightening documentaries which are both highly engaging and educational and may help ‘while away’ a bit of time (especially if it is raining outdoors). A recent watch I can highly recommend is My Octopus Teacher. A moving and intimate portrayal of the life of an octopus in a kelp forest in South Africa. I hadn’t realised quite what enigmatic, complex and intelligent creatures they are. We were totally transfixed by it at home. 

                  4.     Read a book. Again, for the days when we can’t get outside, I can recommend a book called Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. There is a child friendly hardback version of this book available on Amazon. The art work is beautiful and the text is accessible for children, giving them an insight into the political and social characteristics of the main nations around the world. 

                    Above all, have a great half term break and all the better if you get the opportunity for a bit of ‘Awe and Wonder’!

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                    As we reach the end of this first half term of the academic year, I have been reflecting on how well we have all managed to acclimatise to the new ‘normal’. It has been absolutely great to be back at school and to be teaching the children face to face once again. As ever, they have been amazing; they have adapted so well, shown immense resilience and have thrown themselves into their learning, always giving their best. 

                    As a teacher of Humanities, I have previously written on this blog about the value and benefits of educational visits, learning in the field and the ‘outdoor classroom’.  It is a great shame that we haven’t been able to do as many trips as we would have liked, however, we have still managed to appreciate our local natural environment. We have been able to get time outside each day for games and have even completed some outdoor learning, such as the recent F4 litter pick. 

                    As we all look forward to a really well deserved half term break, I wanted to encourage you to try to keep the learning experiences going at home. When I was training to be a teacher (and subsequently), I have been encouraged to emphasise and appreciate the ‘awe and wonder’ of teaching a subject like geography. We don’t need to be sitting in a classroom to experience this, in fact, it is much harder to appreciate the scope and wonder of our environment indoors.  As we are unlikely to be able to do much travelling or socialising over the half term break, might I suggest 4 simple things we could do over the holiday which should be both enjoyable and hopefully a little educational as well!

                    1.  Get outdoors. I always feel really lucky to live in this great city. There are so many interesting buildings with a rich and diverse history. I have been trying to explore further afield myself by visiting new places at the weekends. 

                      https://www.ionedinburgh.com/travel/hotel-guide/10-best-walks-and-around-edinburgh

                      2.  Use maps. There is a great ‘beginners guide to maps’ on the OS website and you can also download the App which I have found great fun to use with the family when out on walks. As a school we also subscribe to digimaps for schools devised by the University of Edinburgh. If you have a look at this you may find some really interesting information both historic and geographic about your local area. We are licensed to share the log in details with all members of the school community so please do take a look with the children if you get chance.

                        The website is https://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/   Username: eh46hu    Password: wimbed2619

                        3.     Watch TV! Whilst this does tend to be a last resort in our house, there are some really enlightening documentaries which are both highly engaging and educational and may help ‘while away’ a bit of time (especially if it is raining outdoors). A recent watch I can highly recommend is My Octopus Teacher. A moving and intimate portrayal of the life of an octopus in a kelp forest in South Africa. I hadn’t realised quite what enigmatic, complex and intelligent creatures they are. We were totally transfixed by it at home. 

                        4.     Read a book. Again, for the days when we can’t get outside, I can recommend a book called Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall. There is a child friendly hardback version of this book available on Amazon. The art work is beautiful and the text is accessible for children, giving them an insight into the political and social characteristics of the main nations around the world. 

                          Above all, have a great half term break and all the better if you get the opportunity for a bit of ‘Awe and Wonder’!

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                          Cargilfield

                          Take time for some 'Awe and Wonder'

                          Explore and be curious!

                          Read More


                          Posted on

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                          introTextAfter 27 years we shall miss him
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                          Good morning! Today it is Dr Barr's final Thursday morning Chapel Service, as he is stepping down as Minister of Cramond Kirk at the end of the month after 27 years serving the local community and also supporting our school community throughout that time during times of great joy and sadness. He will be sorely missed by us all, but we wish him and Margaret a very happy retirement up in St Andrews!

                          Watch his final Thursday Chapel here

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                          Good morning! Today it is Dr Barr's final Thursday morning Chapel Service, as he is stepping down as Minister of Cramond Kirk at the end of the month after 27 years serving the local community and also supporting our school community throughout that time during times of great joy and sadness. He will be sorely missed by us all, but we wish him and Margaret a very happy retirement up in St Andrews!

                          Watch his final Thursday Chapel here

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                          Cargilfield

                          Dr Barr’s Final Service

                          After 27 years we shall miss him

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                          introTextCome rain or shine1
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                          The Nursery have been learning all about Autumn and have enjoyed the sunshine when they have been outdoors. They have been building hedgehog houses in the Nursery garden, making leaf crowns, and using the iPad to take photographs of signs of autumn. What fun!

                          Photo 06 10 2020, 08 38 22

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 15 39

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                          Photo 08 10 2020, 10 27 32

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                          The Nursery have been learning all about Autumn and have enjoyed the sunshine when they have been outdoors. They have been building hedgehog houses in the Nursery garden, making leaf crowns, and using the iPad to take photographs of signs of autumn. What fun!

                          Photo 06 10 2020, 08 38 22

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 15 39

                          perch_rightColBody

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 53 19

                          Photo 08 10 2020, 10 27 32

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                          Autumn Fun!

                          Come rain or shine1

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                          introTextLots of fun outdoors!
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                          The Nursery have been learning all about Autumn and have enjoyed the sunshine when they have been outdoors. They have been building hedgehog houses in the Nursery garden, making leaf crowns, and using the iPad to take photographs of signs of autumn. What fun!

                          Photo 06 10 2020, 08 38 22

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 15 39

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                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 53 19

                          Photo 08 10 2020, 10 27 32

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                          postTitleAutumn in the Nursery!
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                          perch_introTextLots of fun outdoors!
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                          The Nursery have been learning all about Autumn and have enjoyed the sunshine when they have been outdoors. They have been building hedgehog houses in the Nursery garden, making leaf crowns, and using the iPad to take photographs of signs of autumn. What fun!

                          Photo 06 10 2020, 08 38 22

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 15 39

                          perch_rightColBody

                          Photo 05 10 2020, 13 53 19

                          Photo 08 10 2020, 10 27 32

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                          Cargilfield

                          Autumn in the Nursery!

                          Lots of fun outdoors!

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                          Cargilfield Connected

                          We can’t welcome you to our grounds right now, but we can offer you a virtual tour and we can answer questions via email or telephone. We especially like to chat face-to-face on a video call.

                          We have places available for 2020 entry in most year groups.

                          For now, we hope that this video, presented by our Headmaster, Mr Rob Taylor, will give you a flavour of what life is like here at Cargilfield. Our website and social media channels are kept up to date and hold a wealth of information about our school.

                          Our Registrar, Fiona Craig is available to contact via email: registrar@cargilfield.com and she will be happy to help you.

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